Chicago Cubs’ Pitching, Batting Struggles Cost Them Home Opener

Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports

Edwin Jackson took the mound on a beautiful Opening Day at Wrigley Field for the Chicago Cubs on Monday, but despite the bright weather, the moods of Cubs players and fans darkened as they lost to the Milwaukee Brewers, 7-4.

This was Jackson’s second start of the season and he is still looking for his first win in a Cubs uniform. The right-hander struggled from the very start, giving up four runs in the first inning and another run in the second. Sure, you could blame the 24-mile-per-hour winds that played a major part in carrying the ball long distances, but a loss is still a loss.

Jackson can’t take the blame entirely for Monday’s disappointing game; his teammates failed to reach base and wasted opportunities for the Cubs to score some easy runs. According to Cubs.com, the team went 0-for-6 with runners in scoring position during the game. That is unacceptable. That is an extreme problem the Cubs need to overcome if they want to start winning games.

Was Jackson’s pitching on Opening Day as good as his first start of the season in Pittsburgh? Absolutely not, but his teammates didn’t give him much run support to work with either. Cubs catcher Wellington Castillo hit his first home run of the season in the second inning, giving his team two runs but it wasn’t enough. Nate Schierholtz and Luis Valbuena each had an RBI single in the ninth inning to start a rally, but their efforts came up short as the Cubs took their fourth straight loss.

It’s been an ugly start to 2013 for the Cubs, but at least week one of the new season is in the books. From here on out, it’s time to swing the bat, get on base and drive in some runs. Maybe then we’ll start hearing “Go Cubs, Go” more often after games as the white ‘W’ flag is raised over the Wrigley Field scoreboard in victory.

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